Dons give Cards a tough afternoon

Brian Caffarey
6:38am, Sun 25th Jul 2010
Woking 0 AFC Wimbledon 4
Phil Ledger Memorial Cup
24 July 2010

Graham Baker was expecting a much stiffer test in this encounter than in the Cards’ previous away friendlies against lesser opposition – and that’s certainly what he got as the Dons, and in particular four-goal Danny Kedwell, made hay in the Kingfield sunshine. The visitors were a goal up after only four minutes and the Cards barely got a look-in, with home fans having to wait till midway through the second half for the first real strike on goal. Missing the experience of Alan Inns at the back, the Cards’ defence looked fairly porous, while the midfield often found themselves chasing shadows. Nevertheless, there were promising displays from triallists Takumi Ake in particular and Gomez Dali.

Woking began the game with a mix of contract players and triallists. They had barely drawn breath before the right side of their defence was carved open, allowing Kedwell an easy finish. Further efforts quickly followed from the powerful Minshull and Kedwell, with Josh Casey at left back, perhaps used to having more time, getting caught on the ball on a couple of occasions. At the other end Craig Faulconbridge managed a couple of nod downs but there was no one around to profit from them. The main interest lay, however, in some skilful footwork from Ake on the flanks. One cross at least drew a fumble from the Dons’ keeper, Seb Brown.

In the 24th minute Kedwell made it 2-0 to the visitors as he seized on a loose ball and unleashed an unstoppable snap shot past Worner. More goals threatened as Wellard blasted over following clever build-up play. The home side replied with their most fluent move of the half, Casey and Ake combining well to feed the onrushing Mark Ricketts in the area, but the midfielder could not control the ball.

Jon Main took centre stage as his speculative shot cannoned off the foot of the far post, with Worner grabbing the rebound, and also threatened with an acrobatic bicycle kick, while another snap shot from Kedwell was only a whisker away from nestling in the Woking net.

As half-time approached Andy Forbes headed wide for the home side but that man Kedwell popped up once more as the Woking defence allowed the Dons acres of space to put in a cross from the right to the far post, where the ex-Welling striker looped a header back over Worner into the opposite corner.

Half-time: Woking 0 AFC Wimbledon 3

Graham Baker rang the changes at the interval, with only Aswad Thomas, Daniel Sintim and Ryan Watts remaining from the first half line-up. The Dons, in contrast, made a series of changes as the second half progressed.

It was a similar story to begin with as Kedwell headed wide and then tried another snap shot. Main had an effort blocked, which Rashid Yussuf followed up with a powerful strike which went narrowly over the bar.

For the Cards Moses Ademola looked lively out on the right flank, combining well with Ricky Anane in the 55th minute to get a cross in, which was easily cut out, however. There were also glimpses of Gomez Dali’s clever footwork and pace, although he found the Dons’ defence far less accommodating than that of previous opponents.

Woking’s triallist keeper Will Viner was pretty busy as he rushed out of his area in an attempt to clear a long ball, with Aswad Thomas deciding to pre-empt him and then being forced to save as the Dons broke down the Woking left. An enterprising run by Dali was followed, though, by the visitors’, and Kedwell’s, fourth goal of the afternoon in the 69th minute. Though his header was very proficient, the goal has to be put down to Viner’s error as the keeper came for a routine cross swung in but failed to get his hands to the ball

Woking responded with a decent move, involving Anane and Ademola, who fed Dave Gilroy, with Dali heading the subsequent corner wide. The big striker was then sandwiched on the edge of the area but Sam Hurrell’s free-kick to the far post was over-hit.

With the Dons’ multiple changes having weakened their side, and with the job done, the game rather petered out but not before Viner had had to make an excellent one-handed save and then deny former Woking striker Delano Sam-Yorke with his feet.

No one will read too much into this game, although Dons fans will no doubt have been heartened to see Danny Kedwell in such good form. Cards fans will hope that there is better to come when Graham finally puts his first choice side out.

Woking (first half) (triallists in italics): Ross Worner, David Ray, Josh Casey, Francis Quarm, Daniel Sintim, Aswad Thomas, Takumi Ake, Mark Ricketts, Craig Faulconbridge, Andy Forbes, Ryan Watts

Woking (second half): Will Viner, Ricky Anane, Daniel Sintim (Ola Sogbanmu 82), Aswad Thomas (Aaron Gough 82), Ryan Watts (Anson Cousins 82), Moses Ademola, Charlie Turnbull, Jerome Maledon, Sam Hurrell, Dave Gilroy, Gomez Dali

Wimbledon: Seb Brown, Ryan Jackson, Ismail Yakubu, Brett Johnson, Sam Hatton, Ricky Wellard, Danny Kedwell, Jon Main, Christian Jolley, Lee Minshull, Sam Moore

(Wimbledon used a number of subs in the second half, but I didn’t catch all the names.)

Attendance: 1042

NB Woking’s next friendly game is on Tuesday evening, when they entertain Brentford.

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